DAYTON, Ohio -- Shot by shot, Melvin Johnson III played up to his penmanship.
The smooth guard with "SWISH" scrawled on the side of each orange shoe scored a career-high 29 points Wednesday night, putting on the most scintillating show so far in the NCAA Tournament while leading Texas-San Antonio to a 70-61 victory over Alabama State in the "First Four" round.
The Roadrunners (20-13) and their smooth guard head to Cleveland for a game Friday against Ohio State, which won't allow all those open shots.
Against Alabama State (17-18), Johnson took advantage of every one. The sophomore had a career high in the first half alone, when he outscored the starstruck Hornets, 25-21.
The Roadrunners came to Dayton with a stated goal: UTSA had never won an NCAA Tournament game of any sort. Now, they've got reason to raise a banner in their 4,080-seat UTSA Convocation Center.
Might as well let Johnson pick the spot. The 6-foot-5 guard did everything Wednesday. He was 8 of 14 from the field in the first half, making one less field goal than all the Hornets combined.
In the night's second game, Jamie Skeen scored 16 points and Virginia Commonwealth more than held its own inside against bigger and stronger Southern California to beat the Trojans, 59-46.
The 11th-seeded teams traded elbows and punishing defense all night, with the Rams (24-11) pulling away down the stretch to earn the chance to face sixth-seeded Georgetown (21-10) on Friday in Chicago.